WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE: Plea to dog owners after sheep is savaged on Sheffield farm

Youngsters feeding sheep at the farm before the attack (pic: Chris Bristow/Greave House Farm Trust)
Youngsters feeding sheep at the farm before the attack (pic: Chris Bristow/Greave House Farm Trust)
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Dog owners have been urged to keep their pets on a lead after a sheep was savaged on a Sheffield farm which helps people with learning disabilities.

The ram called Dandelion died after being attacked by a dog at Greave House Farm Trust, in Stocksbridge, yesterday afternoon.

The sheep, called Dandelion, was found dead at the farm yesterday afternoon (pic: Chris Bristow/Greave House Farm Trust)

The sheep, called Dandelion, was found dead at the farm yesterday afternoon (pic: Chris Bristow/Greave House Farm Trust)

The care farm supports people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, providing therapeutic opportunities for them to meet the animals and work with the livestock and crops.

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Chris Bristow, who helps run the farm on New Hall Lane with his wife Barbara, said the girl who found Dandelion dead had been 'heartbroken' and his passing had caused great distress among the whole community there.

He urged dog owners to take more care when walking near farms and to keep their pets on a lead, especially when they are near animals.

"We're very upset by what happened, and the girl who discovered Dandelion was heartbroken. It's particularly upsetting because we've had lots of families recently coming to see the lambs.

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"We get quite a few ignorant people with dogs who just don't know how to control them.

"You may think your dog's the most timid, well-behaved pet in the world but you must always keep them on a lead when you're out anywhere near a farm, especially where there are sheep.

"Sheep have very weak hearts and even the shock of a dog running near a lamb can be enough to kill it."

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Dandelion was found dead at around 2pm on Saturday, and Mr Bristow said he believed the animal had at least died relatively quickly, meaning he did not suffer too much.

Mr Bristow apologised for sharing a graphic photo of the sheep's body but said he wanted to do whatever he could to get dog owners' attention and encourage them to take greater responsibility for their pets.